Thursday, June 16th, 2016

Question And Answer Session With Worcs Ccc All-Rounder George Rhodes

Question And Answer Session With Worcs Ccc All-Rounder George Rhodes

George Rhodes has become the latest member of Worcestershire's crop of young talent to make his first team debut.

Rhodes impressed on first appearance, returning 2-34 in 10 overs against Yorkshire in the Royal London One-Day Cup triumph at Headingley in front of the Sky Sports cameras.

It led to him keeping his place for the next two games as well as being in the squad for the washed out One-Day Cup match with Leicestershire Foxes.

Here George gives his thoughts on his breakthrough in the first part of a Question and Answer session with the Worcestershire CCC website.

Question: What was it like to make your debut?

George Rhodes: "Nervy is probably the first word that comes to mind but exciting. I'm glad for the opportunity. It's been quite a while coming to be honest.

"I've been involved for about three years now around the senior squad.

"For the last year or so,I've been quite serious about trying to break through into the first team. I'm just happy it has happened finally."

Question: When did you find out you were going to be playing?

George Rhodes: "There were 10 there plus myself and Alex Hepburn so I knew it was between me and him. I think it was just before the toss that Mitch gave me a tap on the back and said 'you are playing, congratulations.' It was a nice feeling.

"It was just a late decision really. The wicket was quite dry. It spun a little bit. It was up to him and I'm glad for my sake he made the decision to pick me."

Question: Presumably your good performances in the winter for North Canberra helped?

George Rhodes: "Definitely. More so my bowling because playing out there for North Canberra, the wickets were very dry and quite cracked. It meant I actually bowled a lot of overs which is his helpful to improve my bowling over the winter.

"You've seen the batting line-up we've got at Worcester. It is very strong and exciting young players so my bowling just gave me another string to my bow, another way to force my way into the first team to be honest.

"It really helped in the winter. North Canberra is a great place, and there were some great guys there, and they were very welcoming and it was a good move to go there in the winter."

Question: Before that you were a batsman who bowled a bit?

George Rhodes: "I just started to bowl more. It was a way to get into the first team and it was something I took a little bit more seriously.

"Obviously I want to keep my batting strong and keep improving my batting but hopefully be that genuine all-rounder down the line for the first team.

"But it was just a short term way of trying to get into the first team, to really work on my bowling."

Question: "All the young players here can bat and bowl?

George Rhodes: "Exactly, look at the squad we've got here at the moment. It is just the way the modern game is.

"Lads have not only to bat and bowl but also field very well and I think that is something we pride ourselves on at Worcester and we've got a lot of very good all-rounders, exciting young players that can do all three skills."

Question: What did Bumpy say after your debut?

George Rhodes: "Firstly he was very proud of the lads. It was an unbelievable effort against the side that they had, and on TV again which was a bonus.

"But he said to me that he was very proud of me and gave me a little hug which was quite nice.

"It was quite a proud moment for both of us."

Question: Has it been more difficult for you because of Bumpy being Director of Cricket in the same way as it has been for Brett D'Oliveira with his famous cricketing family?

George Rhodes: "I had a good chat with Brett and he felt it was the same. It is quite tough at times because you have to almost work a little bit harder or try that little bit harder or do that little bit better to get into the side.

"But I'm glad it has finally happened and hopefully, not having a bad game really for my first one, I can put my name in the hat for future games and it has been good to play in the next two as well.

"The early wicket at Headingley helped to settle me down. I must admit, the first couple of balls, I was very nervous but once I got over that hurdle, the ball started coming out quite well, and it did feel better, and the first wicket really did settle the nerves."

Question: How satisfying is it that eight of the side regularly playing have come through the Academy?

George Rhodes: "It's brilliant. It just shows how much work goes on behind the scenes with the youngsters.

"Damian D'Oliveira, as everyone knows around Worcester, was fantastic with the Academy and he helped me tremendously throughout my development.

"Now Kevin Sharp with the second team is doing exactly the same thing. We've got a very young second team but exciting players coming through and that's one thing which is quite special about Worcester, the production of young players and how much work they put in to develop players."